In the next 12 months, Nollywood’s IrokoTV will be working towards a listing on the London Stock Exchange. The company’s CEO, Jason Njoku disclosed the plans in an interview with the Africa Report.
This will put IrokoTV on the list of the African companies who have listed outside of their primary market. Jumia, Helios Towers and Airtel are also listed on bourses outside Africa and have had a rocky trading trajectory since. TechNext reported that Konga is also eyeing a listing on the London Stock Exchange as well as the New York Stock Exchange.
For the listing, IrokoTV is seeking to raise between $20 million to $30 million with a valuation from $80 million to $100 million, according to Njoku. IrokoTV reportedly has the largest online catalogue of Nollywood movies and has attracted more subscribers from the diaspora in the last couple of months.
The company increased its subscription from $25 to $60 yearly for its diaspora subscribers in 2020 and saw no negative impact on the number of international subscribers. Without launching a campaign to attract customers from outside Africa, new subscribers have flocked to IrokoTV, although the company did not give an exact number.
The customers gained from diaspora led IrokoTV to infer that the demand for African entertainment content is high among West Africans abroad. This also points to a shortage of streaming services and is now propelling the video on demand company to direct its focus towards gaining more customers internationally.
This, according to Njoku, is more profitable for the company because the revenue is less impacted by the instability and constant devaluation suffered by the Naira.
“An international subscriber base is much more sustainable,” he added, as the company works towards increasing the number of international users and the average revenue generated per user.
Listing on the LSE will help IrokoTV get diasporan subscribers
The London Stock Exchange is the largest bourse in Europe and the primary stock exchange market in the UK. It, therefore, has the potential to expose IrokoTV to good levels of media coverage, research, and announcements. All of these will boost the media company’s plans to get more customers in the diaspora as it works to break into new markets in Europe and North America.
Like other companies that have listed on foreign bourses outside their primary market, the LSE listing will give attention to IrokoTV products and services, increase its brand recognition and improve its business overall.
Not all companies that have listed on the foreign bourses have had a good ride, however, and in some cases, the experience was rough before it got sweet. Jumia lost $2.6 billion in 6 months after listing on the NYSE while Airtel and Helios Towers had an unimpressive debut on the LSE.
Airtel’s share price fell by 16% when it debuted in June 2019 before making a turnaround. Currently, Airtel’s stock price is 77.92 GBX which is 14.75% higher than its IPO price of 67.9 GBX.
The market reception for IrokoTV may be more favourable than that of Airtel and Helios and in turn, push the company’s plans for the diaspora ahead immediately.
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